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Old 05-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #1
paintnolish
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Amusing a toddler on a long drive?

I posted a similar thread last year: how to survive a long drive with a baby. Well, I did survive and am doing it again. Much like the pain of childbirth, I've forgotten the difficlut parts of last year's drive from FL.
This year, LO is older (18 months) and obviously much more mobile. What are your best tips to make an 18 hour trip more bearable? It's not as bad as it sounds: breaking it up into three days (5 hours, 8 hours, and 5 hours). Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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I have no idea but look forward to what others say, our DD(16months) after 2hrs in her seat is ready for a break. We went to Disney last Nov when she was 10mo and we stopped every 2-3hrs to let her crawl around and stretch. My in-laws live about 1&1/2-2hrs away so trips to visit them she begins to get fussy just before arrival. Other than that I'll see what others have to say, but you know your baby best, make the trip suit her.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Doodle board and any electronics you have.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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I had a friend that could set his 1&1/2-2yr old in the car with a rear seat entertainment system and we drove 10hrs only stopping to get gas or change a diaper, and mom would feed her in the carseat while we were driving.

Didn't work with my DD, she could care less about a TV
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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You could let him drive
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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We drive 17 hours to the Gulf Coast every July. I have a husband who is a night owl and so long as he has his music doesn't mind driving. We drive all night so that both I and our son sleeps most of the drive. I have learned to make play list that have music I don't mind listening to or for our son to hear early in the set and music that I don't want to hear and our son will not be allowed to hear until he is much older later in the play list. I make the play list for about 3 hours because that is when we need to stop for gas. We all go to the bathroom walk around a little, and then our now soon to be five year old go back to sleep. On the drive home which is not an overnight drive we have a bag of play stuff beside his seat and then he can also watch a movie if he wants. Normally one movie on the way home. Driving through the night is the best tip I have. However, that may not work for everyone.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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Make the rest stops count. Don't just stop at a cafe to sit for a cup of coffee, find a school, park, rest area and let him run! I used to pack a beach ball (deflate it in the car) and just get very jumpy active. Picnic meals rather than restaurant.

Also, in the car, my kiddo would chew and nibble on a bagel and be good and happy for a long while. And take advantage of nap times!
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #8
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DVD player. It is probably the best thing I own. We did 12 hours to Alabama and back, broken up over two days both ways, at Christmas. The DVD player was the lifesaver, as well as frequent stops.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:29 PM   #9
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The in laws are a 22 hour drive away. We have a DVD player we hook up for her. She has her Leap Pad 2 and a doodle board. I am also in the take a picnic lunch and eat at a park or rest area. Then play a little ball to burn off the energy.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:30 PM   #10
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I second the rest stop ball and the DVD player!

I would also add storybooks on tape, and little new surprises - plastic animals or something that you pull out every so many miles.

Also, if your LO plays with magnetic letters on the fridge at home, they will work in the car on a cookie sheet.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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Our long drives are only 8-9 hours straight.

Personally if at all possible I would stretch the drive time and do it in 2 days rather than 3. I always try and drive at night so the kids are sleeping. Yeah its rough on you but makes the drive oh so better.

If you cannot do that try and leave real early in the morning so you get a good chunk done while the kid is sleeping.

And as PP have said dvd player, stop at rest stops, snacks.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:24 PM   #12
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My boys loved the Disney books on tape, now CD , I bought a large set and put each book and tape together in gallon size bags. They could pick the ones to play. I also went to the library and got books on cd. I think if they have something to listen to but not watch they tend to zone out more and doze. Even playing song CD's and having sing along time in the care can help when they get restless.

Do run her around when you stop. Play tag and do a lot of laughing and cuddling. It will help her get rid of that energy. Most of all keep calm. Haven't we all felt like bursting during long car rides?
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descovy
Make the rest stops count. Don't just stop at a cafe to sit for a cup of coffee, find a school, park, rest area and let him run! I used to pack a beach ball (deflate it in the car) and just get very jumpy active. Picnic meals rather than restaurant.

Also, in the car, my kiddo would chew and nibble on a bagel and be good and happy for a long while. And take advantage of nap times!
I second this bit. When I was growing up we used drve 1000 miles to grandma's house every summer. Two days in the car, no electronics, no A/C either. They stopped every 2hours for 20 min and we kids were expected to get out there and hustle. We kept a ball and some jumpropes in the car.

My mom made us little bags to be opened at certain intervals. The little kids always got a batch of paint-with-water pages and a baggie of qtips she had soaked overnight. Lots of fun and very little mess.

Speaking of mess, mom limited us to water and dry cereal inside the car. At rest stops we got fruit, juice, or popsicles, to keep us "regular" after all that sitting in the car.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #14
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Thanks for the tips! We did picnic during our drive last year and often set out a blanket at rest stops for him to roll around on. I'm really lucky in that big sister sits next to him and plays with him.
Driving all night isn't an option; when it's bedtime, he does not want to be in his seat. He will nap just fine (when he does, I do not stop for any reason!!!), but once it's bed time, he wants to be in a bed!
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descovy View Post
Make the rest stops count. Don't just stop at a cafe to sit for a cup of coffee, find a school, park, rest area and let him run! I used to pack a beach ball (deflate it in the car) and just get very jumpy active. Picnic meals rather than restaurant.
Good point, and as OP is in IL, most of the IL rest stops have playgrounds. We always let our kids play a bit before we get back in the car. In other states, there's always the golden arches
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